HIQA demands answers on doctors' hours
THE Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has written to the HSE requesting management to confirm that no hospital doctors are working more than 48 hours a week.
An EU directive dictates that workers in the EU should work no more than 48 hours weekly.
However, junior doctors warned last week that some are working 36-hour shifts in Irish hospitals and that some are working over 70 hours a week, resulting in exhaustion, stress, depression and even suicide.
In a letter to the HSE, HIQA expressed concerns that there may be risks to patients as a result.
The HSE has been given until February 6 to provide assurances that there are controls in place to manage and mitigate risks to patients caused by doctors' long hours.